There cannot be just a quiet part to this offseason, can there?
The noise has died down from Amway Center -- except for the squeaking shoes and bouncing balls in the practice gym from individually led group workouts from (assumed) team captain J.J. Redick and others -- and the season will get here soon. Likely though, the beginning of training camp will also commence the next phase of the Magic's major rebuilding project.
What that next step is appears to be losing enough to get a high lottery pick (that does nto mean the team will not play hard when they step on the court... it just does not seem likely the team will be winning very much) and looking to position the franchise for a free agent push, to be able to trade for a major player and bring in young players to develop and grow with the franchise.
Right now, the world appears to be Rob Hennigan's oyster. And right now, maybe, only he knows where teh Magic will go next.
The one thing that appears certain is that the roster Orlando starts the season with will not be the one it ends the season with. That was pretty obvious from the package of players Orlando collected in the Dwight Howard trade. Everyone immediately began speculating that Al Harrington would not be long in Orlando as he is still a relatively productive veteran player with only half of the remaining two years of his contract guaranteed once this season ends. If there is a contender looking for someone to help, Harrington would certainly be available.
It is the other names that might enter trade rumors that will likely surprise.
"[The Magic] are open for business to any team that is interested in the likes of holdovers Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Big Baby Davis and Quentin Richardson. (And those players also might be looking to join a team that’s not competing for lottery prizes the next few seasons.)
This perhaps should not be much of a surprise. Orlando is in transition and collecting assets. And that should mean just about everyone on the roster should be available for trade if a team asks.
Schmitz rightly points out that it will be difficult to move veterans like Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson and Glen Davis because of their contracts and their general skill level and potential. Likely though, these are the three players, along with Quentin Richardson, who do not figure into the Magic's future as much. It makes you really wonder why Orlando signed Nelson to a fresh three-year deal, although reportedly the final year is only partially guaranteed.
This may hurt Magic fans, but in their quest to acquire assets and become poised for that next big move might cost the expiring contract of J.J. Redick, a player who may come to represent the heart and soul of this team like Darrell Armstrong did (remember how much he struggled early on in his career and consider how far he has come). There will be some big decisions made about Redick in the very near future.
It is a reminder though that any player will be free if the right deal comes along. Now, at the beginning of the rebuilding, the Magic are simply looking to put themselves in position for a bigger move, or maybe the move that sets up the next move.
It is hard to figure out exactly where the Magic will go from outside the organization right now. The Magic are hardly in a position though to be picky with what moves they explore and who is on the table.
There will not be the constant trade rumors that plagued the team last year, but I imagine there may be some uneasiness with every player's future on the team. That is what you get when you start viewing players as assets. Assets can always be bought and sold. And with the Magic's uncertain future, nobody is off the table for the betterment of the franchise.
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